Winning Secrets: Tokopedia

Tokopedia took home several awards at the HR Excellence Awards 2021, Indonesia. On top of receiving the gold award for 'Excellence in COVID-19 Response', Tokopedia also attained the gold for 'Excellence in Leadership Development' and 'Excellence in Women Empowerment Strategy'.

In this interview, Nanang Chalid, VP, People & Office Management, Tokopedia, tells us how the organisation established a people ecosystem that puts its employees, otherwise known as Nakama, at the center of its priorities - whether it is in terms of business or their professional needs - which makes them feel safe, heard, and comfortable in bringing positive impact to the organisation now, and in the longer run.

Q Tell us a bit of your journey reaching here – how did you get here, and what was most important to you during this process?

As an Indonesian technology company, Tokopedia has a purpose to democratise, and empower commerce through technology, for everyone, everywhere in Indonesia. To support that purpose, in 2019, the People & Office Management team at Tokopedia embarked on a mission to make Tokopedia the most admired technology company in Indonesia by establishing a winning people ecosystem that can #MakeTheShift - which is defined by making things more simple, more human, more impactful, more fun, and more technology-driven for our employees - whom we called Nakama - and our business leaders.

If we can mention one thing that has taken us this far: we always stayed true to our mission, inspired by Tokopedia's three DNA of focus on consumer, growth mindset, and make it happen, make it better.

To create a winning people ecosystem to #MakeTheShift, we focus on our consumer, which is our Nakama; we live the growth mindset by embracing ambiguity, see challenges as opportunities, prototype solutions to those challenges (make it happen), and proactively iterate and improve along the way (make it better).

Q What would you list as your company's most meaningful contribution to employees in the last 12-18 months?

Since the pandemic began, Tokopedia has always ensured that our Nakama is at the center of our priorities. We want them to feel safe, heard, and comfortable delivering their impact during these challenging times. That's why we launched the #JagaNakama campaign in Tokopedia, a series of initiatives that ensure our Nakama is not only feeling safe, but also thriving despite the challenges of working from home.

Many automation initiatives initiated by the launch of MyNakama (our own internal People app) have helped our Nakama deliver their impact in the virtual workspace. We also provide them with a safe space MyWellbeing, a feature in MyNakama that facilitates Nakama who need mental health support.

However, our most pivotal contribution was when we could support our Nakama when the second wave of COVID-19 happened in mid-2021. It was a challenging time, and we are proud that not only the People team but also our own Nakama was willing to participate in our #NakaHeroes campaign, a voluntary ecosystem that drives various humanitarian efforts to support Nakama in need of medical support. This entirety of our COVID-19 ecosystem has been recognised with a gold award this year by the HR Excellence Awards. 

We also ensure that people development remains core and center; hence we continue to innovate in learning & development; our internal coaching ecosystem and environment have also been recognised with the second gold award in this category this year.

Q What are some challenges you've had to overcome, both as a CHRO and as a people leader, and how did you get past them? What was your most significant learning?

Making choices that drive an 'and-and' plan instead of an 'either-or' result characterises the tech business world. For example, we need to keep employees safe and thrive; it's not making a choice of either safety or performance; it's both.

Similar to building organisations that have speed and scale, being competitive on cost and continue to support business growth, and so on. The only way we get past it is to ensure we work as a 'one People team' with 'one goal, one voice, one pride', and to ensure that we build bridges within HR functions or with the business leaders to ensure we also act as #OneTokopedia.

Q Onwards and upwards! Can you share some highlights of your year ahead in 2022 and what your workforce can look forward to?

We are currently defining the 'Future of Work' for Tokopedia; we are looking forward to it. We will also evolve our employee experience by #MakeTheShift on recognition, especially in ensuring recognition is easy, fun, and becomes a daily moment instead of a special event in an employee's life. Another one we are looking forward to is to make predictive analytics a reality, so that we can partner with the business to retain talent since retention will continue to be challenged next year due to the heated talent war.

Q Bring out your crystal ball - 10 years down the line, where do you see the future of HR?

The CHRO will play the role of a CEO, which stands for Chief Energy Officer, thus they will continue to play an irreplaceable role in any organisation, as talent will remain a significant differentiator that will make a company thrive and succeed. Moreover, with all the advancements in various aspects of our everyday life, the opportunity to leverage technology in creating a high-tech and high-touch employee experience will be a mindset that HR professionals will need to have as the world continues going social and digital.


Image / Provided

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!